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Adaptive capacities, path creation and variants of sectoral change : the case of the transformation of the German energy supply system

[working paper]

Fuchs, Gerhard; Hinderer, Nele; Kungl, Gregor; Neukirch, Mario

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Please use the following Persistent Identifier (PID) to cite this document:http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0168-ssoar-430019

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Corporate Editor Universität Stuttgart, Fak. 10 Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Institut für Sozialwissenschaften Abt. VI Organisations- und Innovationssoziologie
Abstract "Since the proclamation of the German 'Energiewende' by the Federal Government in 2011, the transition of the energy supply system has accelerated. In 2011, the 'Helmholtz-Alliance' - 'ENERGY TRANS - Future Infrastructures for Meeting Energy Demands. Towards Sustainability and Social Compatibility" - was launched to perform an interdisciplinary analysis of the social challenges presented by the energy transition. The study presented here, 'Adaptive Capacities, Path Creation, and Variants of Sectoral Change' is embedded within the 'Helmholtz-Alliance' and analyses the organizational changes within the German energy system from a sociological perspective. The study applies the 'Theory of Strategic Action Fields' by Neil Fligstein and Doug McAdam - an actor-centred approach focusing on the change of organizational fields. The study is divided into four projects. Project one, 'The Role of the Leading German Energy Providers in the Transformation of the German Energy System', and project two, 'The Integration of Volatile Renewable Energies into the German Electricity System - The Role of the Established Power Industry for the Extension of Electricity Grids - A Comparative Case Study', focus on the established players in the German energy system - the big energy-provider companies. Project three, 'Challenging the Established Consensus? Local/Regional Initiatives and the Transformation of the Energy Sector', examines challengers acting at a decentralized level. The thematic framework of the projects requires a qualitative research design and applies the methods of document analysis, expert interviews, and focus groups. A fourth project, 'Patterns and Variants of the Gradual Socio-Technical Transformation of the Energy Sector”, integrates the results of projects one to three and reports on the overall changes in the German energy supply system. This integration of results applies Ulrich Dolata's theory on the transformation of socio-technical sectors. This study not only brings together empirical information on the progress of energy transitions, but also contributes to the theoretical discourse within the social sciences by empirically testing theories that so far have not yet been sufficiently examined." (author's abstract)
Keywords Federal Republic of Germany; energy policy; energy supply; sustainability; transition; electricity; infrastructure; regulation; innovation; technological progress; renewable energy; energy industry
Classification Economic Sectors; Special areas of Departmental Policy
Method empirical
Document language English
Publication Year 2012
City Stuttgart
Page/Pages 46 p.
Series Research contributions to organizational sociology and innovation studies / Stuttgarter Beiträge zur Organisations- und Innovationssoziologie : SOI discussion paper, 2012-02
ISSN 2191–4990
Status Published Version
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications
data provider This metadata entry was indexed by the Special Subject Collection Social Sciences, USB Cologne